A new public hospital in Heredia, north of San José, is nearing completion and expected to open in the first part of next year.The $72 million facility will provide 250 new beds and nine operating rooms, along with some of the latest technology. The project is almost 82 percent complete, and Heredia residents should expect it to open in May 2010, according to officials with the Costa Rican Social Security System (Caja). An inauguration ceremony is scheduled for January.
“Heredianos’ long-awaited dream – and one of our commitments – is almost a reality,” said Presidency Minister Rodrigo Arias during an visit to the hospital last Friday. “In a few months, Heredia will have one of the most modern hospitals in Central America with six buildings, nine operating rooms, more than 250 beds and 36,000 square meters of construction.”
The new hospital is expected to benefit roughly 500,000 residents of Heredia and will include modern equipment in outpatient services, emergency care, laboratories and radiology. The Caja contracted EDICA Ltd. to build the hospital, which will be named San Vicente de Paúl, after the facility it will replace.
According to Arias, the current hospital is fewer than 14,000 square meters. Over the past several years, the wait time for non-emergency services has increased, with some people hospitalized for as long as 40 days.
Roulan Jiménez, president of the Costa Rican Doctors and Surgeons Association, told The Tico Times in August that there were 2,000 hospital beds in the 1940s. Today, the population – estimated at 4.5 million – is nearly eight times that of the 1940s and there are only 1,500 hospital beds.